Google Inc. was founded in 1998 and started their famous “Google search” which quickly became popular all over the world. Over the years many more services were added to the Google portfolio (click for a list). Today there is a piece of Google software for almost every purpose you could imagine and all of them seem to be for free.
Is Google offering services for free?
Is Google Inc. really following their “don’t be evil” philosophy by providing free software for everyone? The following numbers might help us find an answer. But keep in mind, that making money alone doesn’t make you evil.
What does Google do?
Google Inc. collects your data on all their services. It saves everything you type into “Google search”, the context of your mails at “Google mail”, the videos you watch on “YouTube”, the sides you browse in “Google chrome”, the routes you calculate by “Google maps”, etc.
How is the data collected?
If you are not logged in, Google Inc. gets your information from a cookie saved by your web browser. This of cause means, that the data you produce at different locations, like: PC, laptop, work, etc. cannot be connected (at least not that I know). But if you are logged into your Google account, the connection can be established.
How good and accurate the connection of this data really is can only be guessed, but if anybody has the resources to connect all this terabytes of data, it is Google Inc.Hint: In the last 12 years Google Inc. has collected more data then the “secret police” in the “German Democratic Republic” collected in their 40 years of existents.
How is the money made?
With this information companies are able to make special product advertisement available to different people. Google offers special software for their customers, which lets them, spread advertisement to the proper target group. These groups could be “boys from 12 to 16 in Germany”.
Sending an email over “Google mail”, telling a friend about your intentions to buy a new Monitor could bring special Monitor advertisements onto your screen.
A company knowing my: name, address, employer, friends, interests, etc. with earnings of 6.5 billion a year and a total value of over 150 billion, increasingly scares me.
Calling them a simple search engine is far off. They are a global player on the world market with increasing power and should be called as such.
For me knowing all this meant to quit using Google services.
Ps.: In the future I will tell you about some Google alternatives. You can already check out ixquick. It is a great alternative search engine that is privacy friendly.